Why I Plurk

Plurking feels good. It is one of those microblogging and therapeutic activities that I do online. I can chat with any people anywhere in the world. Apart from that, plurking should be included in my viral marketing campaign. Joining plurk can undeniably help drive traffic to my blogs.

Although expressing messages is limited to 140-characters, there’s still  an array of awesome features in Plurk such as  search options, change of one-word verbs  (say, thinks, feels, wonders etc.) and share of photos and videos. Most importantly, Plurk has a refreshing overall theme.

To view my plurk page, simply click SurvivorDean

Survivor Insights 30: My Sole Survivors

With JT’s triumph in Brazilian Highlands, I now have three sole survivors under my belt. Eighteen seasons of Survivor and I can’t truly believe how my instincts have driven me in the right direction. (NOTE: I don’t like reading spoilers)

Back in Season 12 – Panama Exile Islands, I chose Aras Baskauskas and Danielle DiLorenzo as my early picks. These two were in the final two and Aras eventually took home the title. Same story happened with Parvati Shallow. She was my only huge favorite in Season 16 – Micronesia and surprisingly, she outlasted the rest. I have already posted an article about “How Did Those Castaways Won?” in myblue blog. Today, I updated the article entitled “How My First-Impression-Favorites Won?” to be posted here. David Bloomberg of Reality News Online wrote the following analysis below.

What David Bloomberg has to say?

SURVIVOR: TOCANTINSSole Survivor: JT
“J.T. was the country boy who could survive outdoors, but that’s not what Survivor is really all about… Like Stephen, J.T. definitely did well in terms of the first rule, scheming and plotting. He formed his alliance with Stephen on Day 2 and went all the way to the end with him… J.T. also clearly knew what he wanted to get across to the jurors and was able to argue it. He played up his aw-shucks country boy aspect, did a lot of smiling, and basked in the love from the jurors.”

“The thing is, J.T. had cultivated that love over the past 39 days… his combination of strategy and friendliness is rarely seen on Survivor. The ability to stab somebody in the back and still have them be your friend and hand you a million dollars is somewhat amazing to watch. Even though he was obviously a huge threat to win, nobody wanted to go against him until it was too late and he had it all wrapped up. Then he put the bow on top with a great jury performance.”
SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA - FANS VS. FAVORITESSole Survivor: Parvati

“Each time, Parvati was the blindsider, never the blindsided… She owned Tribal Council from the moment of the opening statements. She took credit for playing aggressively and beating her competition before they had a chance to beat her. She made bold power plays and helped guide a powerful group of women to some of the biggest moves in Survivor history.”

“Parvati played strategically while eliminating emotional decisions, but also played socially, thus building up emotional attachments. She took out the threats when they needed to be gone, and she set herself up in a prime position to give her an enormous amount of flexibility to go forward no matter which side came out ahead. She set herself up to make it to the end, and then did a fine job with the jury.”

arasSole Survivor: Aras

“Early in the game, Aras did not seem a likely candidate to win. A couple of his original tribemates thought he was a bit nutty as he tried to start a fire using mind power. Then, after the switch-up, he revealed the core alliance, which is generally a big blunder… Once he got in the finals, Aras said many of the right things. Aras talked about how he tried to play the game with integrity. Yes, he had to turn on a couple of people, but he was just trying to get them before they got him. And yes, it was necessary to tell the few lies he did.”

“Aras also pointed out several times that he took the time to get to know each and every one of them on a personal level.. He did a good job of reading the jurors and telling them mostly what they wanted to hear… Aras was not the best strategic player this season. That would probably have been Cirie. Aras was not the best at challenges this season. That would definitely have been Terry. But Aras put those two facets into one person, and added a good social game as well. By being second best at several things, he avoided being the biggest target.”

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During the first season of Survivor Philippines which took place at Ko Tarutao, Thailand, the First Pinoy Sole Survivor was also my first impression pick.It should have been ME (just kidding!) Read: Survivor Insights 13: JC Tiuseco- First Pinoy Sole Survivor My pre-show pick in Survivor Philippines (Season 2) also won. Read: Survivor Insights 46: Amanda Win Survivor Philippines Season 2

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What SurvivorDean has to say?

All in all, Survivor: Panama Exile Island is still my #1 favorite season. It’s the first time the castaways were divided into four tribes (younger men, younger woman, older men and older women) and each group has a deserving representative going in the final four. It’s unbelievable two of my early bets before the pilot (Aras and Danielle) outlasted the physical threat (Terry) and the social strategist (Cirie). This is a big picture that illustrates the fight between two elephants and two rats. Even how small these rats are, they can still make the elephant run. And who can forget the beautiful Misty who got voted off so early, the strange naked truth about Shane, Dan – the astronaut and the dominant Terry who won six individual immunity challenges in a row?

Survivor Micronesia and Survivor Tocantins are completely two different seasons with bold characters. It’s likely unfair to compare these two seasons but the level of competition in Micronesia were fierce, considering it’s a battle between fans and favorites. A number of unexpected accidents and alliances occurred as early as Episode 1. Quite the opposite in Tocantins, every episode of Season 18 has something to shock you. It’s undeniably the season of blindsides. The only predictable events in Tocantins are when Sierra was voted-out and when JT won. I knew JT had a 75% winning chances but I was not expecting JT would get a 7-0 votes against Stephen.

Here are my thoughts on JT and Parvati:

1) These two appears to use their charismatic personality to fully-convince people around them. Parvati chose to take risks and played both sides. JT, on the other hand, cemented his alliance with his tribe as early as Day One.

2) Both of them played a well-structured social game. Parvati was the flirt while JT took the role of provider.

3) The only difference is, JT won (3) Immunity Challenges in a row when he truly needed it while Parvati only managed to win (1) challenge and she’s the first one out during the Final 3 Endurance Immunity Challenge.

4) Parvati played a riskier cut-throat game and could face elimination anytime but she still survived all the tests even without an immunity. Parvati was the social blindsider which JT did not regularly do (He relied on winning immunity to be safe). Therefore, I stick to Micronesia as my second favorite season.

Here’s my ranking:

1) Survivor Panama Exile Islands [Season 12]: Television Rating in US: 16.82 Million Viewers, #12

2) Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs Favorites [Season 16]: Television Rating in US: 13.51 Million Viewers, #11

3) Survivor One World [Season 22]

4) Survivor Tocantins [Season 18]: Television Rating in US: 12.92 Million Viewers, #19

5) Survivor Heroes vs Villains [Season 20]

** With respect to Season One, I also love this season. It’s not enough to rank this season as 1, 2 or 3. This season was the start of everything beyond the imagination can conceive. Richard Hatch remains to be the King of Alliance.

Survivor Insights 29: “The Warrior and The Wizard”

SURVIVOR: TOCANTINSSurvivor Tocantins ended well and it’s JT, the twenty-four-year-old cattle rancher from Alabama, who took home the $1,100,000 and the title of Sole Survivor. During the finale episode, JT was clearly in the hot seat. Taj, Erinn and Stephen wanted to oust him immediately if he couldn’t win the necklace. However, things were in the right places for JT. He won two immunity challenges in a row, definitely making him the immunity king of this season.

The “Tarantula” Immunity Challenge was a test of speed and patience for the final four. JT and Stephen aced the running-and-crawling part as expected but Taj and Erinn sizzled the board just in time. Erinn was really in her comfort zone when dealing with puzzles. From a mile apart behind, Erinn and JT were in a tight race to the finish line. Too close for Erinn, all luck and magic still sided with JT.

Ousting Taj was the last and shocking blindside of the season. Her biggest mistake was sticking with her former Jalapao boys. I knew she considered siding with Erinn but according to her RNO Interview, Taj had trust-issues with Erinn.

Just like a puff, my top three early picks was realized, Erinn, Stephen and JT.SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS Seeing them outplay each other during Immunity Challenge reminded me of young Albert Einsteins in front of their chemistry laboratory toys. That was a tough Final 3 Challenge to date that requires timing, dexterity, speed and mental focus. Of the three, JT clearly got the advantage. His hand was consistently in the right position in catching the ball and returning it in the hole.

The Final 3 Tribal Council was the smartest and the most-intense I’d ever watched in history. It’s satisfying to see and listen to Erinn, Stephen and JT. None of their arguments were like the alphabet and the obvious. Stephen was the most eloquent as expected but nervous. Erinn was fighting hard and of course, the hardest decision was put on JT.

I appreciated JT’s decision not to blindside his best friend. JT proved friendship is not worth a million dollars even in the game of SURVIVOR. Even it hurts a little to see her go, it’s okay. Erinn was in fact the last Timbira to survive and the last member of the jury. Read her RNO Interview with David Bloomberg.

The Warrior and The Wizard

It’s still quite a surprise no one voted for Stephen. Stephen did awesome during the Q&A. Most of his arguments were revealing and he admitted in his RNO Interview he was nervous during the five-hour Tribal Council. Stephen also expected the jury didn’t felt the authenticity in his answers. His arguments were all “Brains” that’s why; he got zero votes. If only he answered the questions spontaneously and with a “Heart” like what JT did, Stephen might be gettin’ 2 or 3 votes.

Truth is, JT’s strongest suit was his superb ability to juggle “Brains” and “Heart” in his delivery. Even not vocal as Stephen or Erinn, JT still got an indescribable charisma (stronger than Taj) to convince people. When he said: “I’m feeling like a fool, man” this was probably his winning statement. For this, all cheers to JT and really, it still pays to be the warrior!

Link to JT’s interview with David Bloomerg, RealityNewsOnline and the red carpet final 4 interviews.

Also see these: Stephen, Erinn, Taj

Survivor Insights 28: Here Comes the Final 4

Fantastico! Three of my early-picks and a wildcard favorite are in the finals and this is the finale I’ve been waiting for since season twelve at Panama Exile Islands.

It’s quite unexpected Erinn and JT made this far. Erinn was the underdog from the start and as an outcast most of the time, Erinn had various lows and highs. She’s left in the wilderness without any concrete alliances and her social game was purely under-the-radar. Yet, she remained to be a fighter by keeping the numbers on her side and the whole game changed when Erinn joined forces with JT, Stephen and Taj to oust the two biggest threats, Brendan and Tyson.

JT emerged as the leader of the Jalapao Tribe and aced the game by establishing a stronger pact with Stephen. This best-friends-alliance was JT’s strongest suit and kept him safe during the merge till the final four. The only downslide was JT’s chances of winning this game was fairly slim. JT’s likeable, he’s a man of his words and with him, winning back-to-back challenges this 13th episode might surface him as a big threat.

Stephen was undeniably the social “genius” of the season. He was not afraid to zig and zag. His dangerous weapon was his consistent ability to think a plan then stretch it in any possible way and execute the plan with a big drive. Stephen’s clearly not as robust as Brendan, Tyson or JT but his analytical mind worked 24/7.

Taj… Taj… Taj… She’s also a social competitor and everyone liked him and there’s only one thing that kept me in doubts. Taj’s solid trust to JT and Stephen was her weakness. She could easily be blinsided without her knowing it.

Geez, I nearly forgot talking about someone. The someone that made this season a legendary one and this was all because of Coach. He tried his best to save his skin but all went futile. Stephen broke his alliances with JT for the first time and oust him (3-2).

Like season 12 in Panama Exile Island, Coach Wade was like Shane Powers. Coach was a shot-stealer and his stay at Exile Island was in fact the longest Exile-airtime I’d seen of this season. The wide and red-dirt surface became Coach’s best friend. He meditated, reflect and even created a Dragon Cane in his own.

Wow, I never heard of a Dragon Slayer with a cane. Truthfully, a Dragon Slayer should have a sword, not a cane (hehehe). Yet, I was impressed with Coach during the immunity challenge. Of the heat, hunger and thirst he endured while on Exile, he still on his foot coming second to JT but I couldn’t still deny Coach consistently behaved like a mythical jingo. Read his interview with RNO David Bloomberg.

The final four could be unpredictable with Coach on board but it’s a better four without him. Seeing this season’s final four was beyond incredible and couldn’t stop comparing it to season 12’s finale. The only unclear aspect is who’s this season’s version of Aras Baskauskas or will another Danielle DiLorenzo smash her way to victory?

It’s R&B vs Rock!

Hooray! The R&B dude of American Idol Season Eight is still on the run and his name is Kris Allen. No offense to Danny Gokey. Gokey also has a nice soulful spins in his voice but the overall style of Kris Allen is way different than him. Apart from singing, Allen plays piano and guitar so well and his songs-choice are mostly his aces. His acoustic version of Kanye West’s “Heartless” is certainly one of the spectacular moments of the season. Even Randy Jackson admitted Allen’s version is better than the original.

With all my respect, Adam Lambert is also good. His spin he puts in his songs is his strongest suit and I think that’s the reason why several people like him. Although addicted to R&B, Lambert’s version of “Mad Word” is remarkably one of his bests. The only problem is, rock is really not my niche.

Kris Allen or Adam Lambert, it doesn’t matter who will win. These two deserves to be in the finals and they are both rising stars in their own genres. Kris Allen entered the Final 13 as a survivor and unlike Lambert, he’s not a clear-cut favorite. But today, it’s all a new story. By any means, Allen is the sum of Annop Desai + Matt Giraud and there’s probably no reason why he can’t get a good run in the commercial world after the competition.